A Youthful Mistake Should Not Brand You For Life

"Boys will be boys" is a well-known phrase, but it has no bearing on the law. When it comes to alleged criminal offenses, boys being boys can quickly be treated like men behind bars. To avoid such a fate, it's important to make sure your son or daughter has the strongest possible defense against criminal charges such as sex offenses, drug crimes, alcohol-related offenses, arson and more.

At Giancola-Durkin, P.A., our experienced criminal defense attorneys believe that a youthful mistake should not be used by the state as a bludgeon to ruin the rest of a person's life. Kids deserve an opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them. After all, doesn't everyone deserve a chance to turn their life around and become a productive member of society?

Taking A Look At Minnesota's Juvenile Justice System

In Minnesota, juveniles can be convicted of a crime and given an extended jurisdiction juvenile sentence (EJJ). It's a mouthful, but it means that a juvenile offender receives a sentence that is probationary in nature. If that sentence is completed without problems, the adult sentence for the offense is never levied. However, any violation of the probationary rules — no matter how innocent they seem — the judge has the option of revoking the EJJ status.

Example: A 15-year-old who receives a sexual image from a significant other could be charged and convicted of a sex crime, requiring sex offender registration. Simply failing to update information for the registry — such as a change of address — could result in the adult penalty being levied, potentially making them a registered sex offender for life.

'Best Years Of Your Life.' Not If You Are Convicted Of A Crime.

Having a stayed felony defense hanging over your head is no way to go through your teen years. The best way to avoid this is by having a strong defense team on your child's side that will fight aggressively every step of the way to have the charges dismissed or reduced.

16 and 17-Year-Olds Have Another Issue To Be Concerned About

In Minnesota, any felony committed at the age of 16 or 17 becomes public record rather than being sealed at 18. This means someone could learn from their mistake only to be punished again once they reach 18 by having a black mark on their record. This is another important reason every juvenile needs an aggressive defense against criminal charges.